Minnesota Beats Furman in Great Alaska Shootout

Minnesota men's basketball team advanced to the Great Alaska Shootout semifinals with an 84-69 win over Furman. The Gophers improved to 2-0 and will face the 18th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, who defeated host Division II Alaska Anchorage 90-55, in Friday's first semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Central Time.

Junior Vincent Grier led the five Gophers in double figures with 24 points, 7-of-14 from the field and 10-of-11 from the line. It was his second straight game in leading the Gophers in scoring. Grier also led the team with six rebounds and added five assists and four steals in 37 minutes. J'son Stamper and Rico Tucker added 11 points each in the win. Dan Coleman and Jeff Hagen had 10.

Minnesota jumped to a 9-0 lead with a layup by Brent Lawson, a dunk and a layup by Grier and a three-pointer from Coleman. Furman closed to within 16-14 on two Tony Carter free throws, but would get no closer for the rest of the game. Tucker was especially strong in the first half, hitting three 3-pointers, the last to put the Gophers up 34-21 with 3:48 left. Furman closed the gap to six at 36-30 with 2:19 left, but Stamper scored the last five points of the half to make the halftime score 41-33.

The Gophers jumped on the Paladins to start the second half with a 14-4 run to lead by 18 with 15:14 left. A three-pointer from Aaron Robinson started the run, followed by six straight layups, one by Coleman, two by Grier, one by Hagen and two by Stamper. Furman closed the gap to 12 at 57-45 on a three-pointer by Quan Prowell, but the Gophers responded with the next five points with another Grier layup and a three by Brent Lawson.

The Paladins cut the lead to nine three times inside the 5-minute mark, but Minnesota made 14 straight free throws down the stretch to ice the win.

Furman was led by Moussa Diagne with 21 points, Prowell had 14 and Grand Rapid native Eric Webb added 12. Minnesota held Furman to just 9-of-28 from beyond the arc and outrebounded the Paladins 29-24.

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